Aircraft - Electric - Jets
Micro EDF Jets and Power Systems
Electrolyte micro sport jet (the original thread)
Electrolyte micro sport jet (the original thread)
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Where it all started in 2010
4 years later
Original prototype in AMA museum. First micro EDF to achieve 100 mph.
new york workshop lol
3/4 oz cloth, 3M 77 spray adhesive, Thin ca
Step 1: very light mist onto cloth
Step 2: lay the cloth down carefully as if applying a sticky decal
Step 3: trim the cloth
Step 4: ready for ca
Step 5: start applying ca at one end and use your ziploc bag hand to spread the thin ca out towards the other end
Step 6: your glassed
This is the best shot of the tailcone extension before molding.
20" swept wing version
16" Sorta F-20 look
Increased the radius of the front hatch to simplify the fuselage layup
bottom of the fuse has been cleaned-up
clean edges and making sure the both sides are symmetrical takes some time.
The splitter box material is a particle board that has a smooth white finish. I happen to get it at home depot.
Trace the fuselage with a pencil and then cut it out with a saber saw. Its not neccessary to cut it perfect in this step.
2 braces are glued below the splitter box to support the plug at the correct depth. The blue tape is to protect the plug from getting scratched during this test fitting.
The plug is at the correct depth. note the less than perfect gaps around the perimeter....its ok for now.
So here is where the fun begin. A thin packing tape is applied on one side and then waxed. Its important the tape isn't too strong so that the paint doesn't get pulled off later.
With the plug in its correct resting place bondo is used to fill in the cracks one side at a time. I use a popsicle stick to make a uniform radius of bondo here.
When the bondo is rubbery but not hard the plug is gently remove from the splitter box. Wait a few more minutes and then take a sanding block with coarse sandpaper and sand the bondo down to the parting plane.
another view of the same step
remove packing tape from bottom side and repeat the same steps to the top side.
The Bondo on both sides have been sanded flat.
Test fit.....like a glove
Close up showing the space filled in by the bondo
Waxed and PVA'd...next step is the gel coat
Gelcoat material: West system graphite powder and some Cabosil (white powder)
The first of 2 gel coat layers. The first layer goes on relatively thin and the second layer is made thicker with some additional cabosil.
4 layers of each cloth (2,4,6,&10 oz). The idea is to gradually build up in material. After the 10 oz cloth is on, a single layer of 2 oz cloth completes the mold. It makes the outside of the mold smooth and prevents fiberglass splinters.
The second layer of the gel coat
Pounding glass while my sister-inlaw and neice (photographer) hang out with me.
Many hours later the first side is complete.
Freshly removed from the splitter box. Its still needs to be cleaned up and PVA'd before doing the otherside.
cleaned up perimeter, waxed, PVA'd and ready to go
The finished half of the mold plus a bunch of half finished projects in the hangar. In my own defense these are not all my airframes. Who says r/c airplanes aren't as addicting as drugs...lol?
This may look a little barbaric. The plug was actually loose but it needed to be removed perfectly perpendicular to the mold and I was having trouble with my bare hands. The 2 drill bits and some stirring sticks made it fairly painless.
The unpolished mold after being separated from the plug and trimmed.
begin by using a rubber malet to tap the mold. The vibrations help to separate the mold from the plug. You can actually hear the change in sound when the part or plug releases
Use a spatula to wedge its way between the two gelcoat layers. Work it around the perimeter in and attempt to start the separation process.
Once a small gap has been created I place wood stirring sticks to maintain the separation around the entire mold
Continue using wood stirring sticks to increase the gap till the mold separates completely from the plug.
1 layer of packing tape that is also waxed
a bead of thickened epoxy is placed around the perimeter and then the hatch gets placed into position
The bottom of the hatch now closely fits the fuselage at its outer edge
A little redstuff to remove some slight imperfections
The first part of the hatch is done....next is the canopy
Will do the same process today on the canopy.
Here the canopy is being glued to the rest of the hatch while its also being fitter to the turtle deck of the fuselage.
Next step was to sand away the excess epoxy from around the canopy perimeter (not pictured). After wards the canopy is re-primered and red stuffed.
After sanding of the red stuff
another cycle of primering begins...almost there
My approach for a dual function ducting....opinions welcomed!
Check fit 40mm edf: it fits anywhere forward of the horizontal stab.
Templates for the intake plug
Alignmentof the ducting plug
the basic idea. Also note that an access area has been opened in the hatch area
Test fitting the ducting
With the hatch plug about done its time to remove this area from the mold which will give another point for access and make joining the fuselage halves easier.
The first step is to use the pre-trimmed fuselage as a guide with a sharp homemade tool
Hear you can see the etching line in the hatch
Now the scary part. so close to potentially scratching the pretty mold so you have to be cautious and careful. The tape is to hopefully stop an accidental scratch from occuring.
The completed mold....yay!
A better view of the new peep hole
FROM the OUTSIDE: The ducting templates are held in position (on the inside) with the blue tape
FROM the INSIDE: The blue light is the gap
making the panel line with 2 layers of tape and some red stuff. To get a sharp line the red stuff needs to be sanded down to the tape before the tape can be removed
Proposed elevon arrangement for the prototype. The servos will be flush with the stabs bottom surface. Thoughts are welcomed!!!
Terrible picture of a profile F18 I did, trying to show tailerons hooked up to ailerons, same servo.
I know its not an impressive picture but its nice to have this step finished
Hatch plug ready for the Gel Coat
Completed 1st half of the hatch mold
Dave's method for mounting this custom Nitro charged EDF unit using a Don rc motor that had been rewound
The ducting prior to getting glassed.
trial fit...so far so good
First step was glassing the foam. I used 3 layers of 2 oz. I put some black graphite in the epoxy to make sure the mold would be black.
After sanding down the glass and the high spots one gel coat layer of thin epoxy and graphite powder was applied. It still need to be polished but its just about complete.
The ducting mold
Making the first set of ducts...epoxy still wet
Trimmed the part once it was "green". Notice the vertical incision on each duct. This is required to remove the part from the mold.
After removing the part from the mold it is rejoined with some CA and light glass.
The inside is smooth!
Its pretty light too. The layup is one layer of 4 oz.
Trial fit with 40mm fan unit.
Just like the big boys
Funny how small it is.
I made a mounting tab here to glue the ducting to the inside of the fuse. It worked great and it lined up the rest of the ducting into position
The duct was joined to the fuse with CA. The gap was pretty small so the CA worked great and saved time. Here is what it looked like after contouring the intake lip
And after a coat of primer
This is the quality of the hatch mold when using a plug that has been primered and not painted. Its better than the fuselage.
Laying up the first hatch
The lip here is why I went through the pain of making a two piece hatch mold. It is definitely worth it
The first part. I forgot to take a pic prior to sanding it down
The prototype 3 days before its scheduled test flight. I better get busy...lots to do!
first part out of the mold
Glassing wing #2
Glassing the horizontal stab shaped by my friend Dave.
The stab after the glass had cured
Thrust tube tapered down to 85%
Still need to make that adapter...
Gotta have atleast one artistic pic
hatch attached with magnet
Current state with 24 hrs left to build. I feel like I'm in an episode of junkyard wars with rediculous time constraints
gotta have one of these pics before the test flight...
Electrolyte with a few Micro Stingers
Post crash damage....could be worse
wing = 97in ENG. Sach Dolmer 3.2cu.in. fabric on wings and half of fuse. Rustoleum brush on finish.
50mm AMX jet. A minor flight accident resulted in a major discovery
Comparison of wings
Nice airfoil too
Comparison of stabs
again....its pretty close
I'm thinkin of mounting the wing directly to the side of the fuse and then making a removable hatch where the wing saddle is.
A pic from today
in the bag
My 6 yr old nephew Daniel laying up his first part (Electrolyte hatch). He was a natural! And yes....that is very oxidized epoxy.
Looking closely you can see what appears to be wrinkles in the cloth. Its not wrinkles in the kevlar but wrinkles in the removed peelply material that left a ridge of epoxy that wasn't extracted. The kevlar tote down the length of fuse is also visible
Electrolyte fuse #1 and #2 (still in the mold).
Now that I have a little extra time I'm bringing the mothership out of retirement.
One additional step is the requirement to pre-cut the kevlar pieces...not fun...but I probably need a new pair of kevlar scissors.
Fuselage #3 Weight: 39.5g
Handing over the Electrolyte...
Just the larger diameter tube without the installed pitot tube.
The location of the pitot tube.
Making sure both tubes are closely aligned
Finally a mold that I didn't have to make myself
Waxed up the champagne glass and then layed on some 4 oz cloth
The trimmed part on the left along with an adapter on the right to allow the fan to be positioned farther aft if neccesary for CG purposes
The 30mm fan with the adapter on top for a test fit
Another test fit pic.
If the fan unit gets mounted behind the main wing this is what the ducting aft of the splitter will look like.
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